It’s official now: the 11-5 Kansas City Chiefs got robbed Sunday. The NFL has officially admitted an error in the form of a missed penalty in the Chiefs’ game against AFC West rivals San Diego Chargers (9-7), which ended up in a Chargers’ 27-24 victory after overtime.
There were eight seconds left on the regulation time clock in the fourth quarter when Kansas City’s kicker Ryan Succop attempted a 41-yard field goal from the San Diego 23 and missed. What officials failed to catch was an illegal San Diego seven-man lineup on one side of the snapper, which should have been called as an illegal defensive formation. This, if called properly, would have resulted in a five-yard penalty against the Chargers and would have given Succop another attempt at the field goal, this time from San Diego’s 18, and with four seconds remaining on the clock.
Not a sure thing, but certainly an easy field goal for a kicker of Succop’s caliber.
A win for Kansas City would have been meaningless, as the Chiefs were already locked into the No. 5 AFC playoff seed. Only San Diego gained something by narrowly defeating the Chiefs, garnering for themselves the remaining AFC playoff spot.
It is widely acknowledged that the Chargers’ narrow win was up against virtually an entire team of Kansas City backup players, including running back Knile Davis filling in for Jamaal Charles and quarterback Chase Daniel filling in for Alex Smith. The Chiefs’ backup squad performed impressively against San Diego’s front line best.
Also shorted because of the missed call? The 8-8 Pittsburgh Steelers, who would have gone to the playoffs if Kansas City had won. The Steelers would have gone up against the Cincinnati Bengals in the first round of the playoffs this weekend, and may have been an easier team from the AFC for the Chiefs to outplay in the postseason.
Boo that, zebras.